I want to offer you a simple process as we reach the end of the calendar year. First, the reason for the process. We tend to see things in chunks. 2013 is a chunk of time and our minds will naturally evaluate how we did during this chunk of time. We will assess ourselves in terms of successes and failures. And so much more often we will see the failures. But when we feel we have failed, we do not just say, “I failed at that,” and move on. Often we judge ourselves and hold on to what we feel are our “failings.”
And so, when you get to the end of a project, goal, or significant period of time (a birthday or year’s end, for example), it is good to make this mental process conscious. It is useful when we reach the deadline for a project or goal to consciously ask, “How did I do? How am I feeling about this?” And if you are feeling bad, it is helpful to know how to let go of it. When you can consciously let go of things that feel bad to you, then you move forward to the next goal with much more energy. When you feel you have failed, and this occurs repeatedly, and you don’t let go of it, it colors how you see things moving forward. It saps your energy. Eventually goal-setting and forward-movement in your business (or elsewhere) becomes tiring and overwhelming. You become discouraged and less likely to set goals and move yourself to where you want to be.
So here is our New Year’s Eve process. And I recommend that you use it any time that you come to an ending point. Sit down by yourself in a time and place where things are quiet. Get a few sheets of clean paper and ask yourself these questions: “Where did I fail to get what I wanted?” “What do I feel bad about?” “What do I want to let go of?” “What do I wish I had done better?” Begin to write your answers. Write as quickly as you can. It need not be legible. The faster and messier you write, the more you will access the part of your brain that holds these seeming “failings”.
Once you have written everything out, if you have a fireplace, start a fire and with great ceremony and intention to let go, throw in your pages and watch them burn. Other options if you don’t have a fireplace are to put on loud energetic music, tear up the paper, jump up and down, yell and dance around. You might even consider doing this at work with your team. Maybe create a variation of this process that will symbolize letting go, and that you feel you can do with all your management or staff.
The point is this – what you don’t own, owns you. Be conscious to let go of what holds you back. Once you know it is there, it is your job to not allow it to hold you back. Let it go and move on. My next blog will be on goal-setting for the New Year. Do this process first so you will be ready!